Radio 1’s Phil Taggart hovering in mid air, supported by some teenagers, members of Essex band Asylums in the crowd, and some enviably cool neon pink heart-shaped sunglasses; these were a handful of highlights from indie-rock band FREAK‘s debut gig at Chelmsford’s Bassment, on Thursday night.
The impressive turnout was no FREAK coincidence; the Essex three piece have rightly been receiving attention from the likes of Radio 1, NME and Music Glue; and all were keen to see and hear what FREAK had to offer live. Unsurprisingly, the band performed with the ridiculous tenacity implied by their name, which resulted in Phil Taggart being raised to the (deceptively low) ceiling on frontman Connar Ridd’s command, and subsequently caused Taggart to tweet he’d be billing FREAK for any future chiropractic treatment.
If anyone’s entitled to compensation, it’s the group of boys who hurled themselves around for forty minutes with minimal respite. Barely one minute in to their opening song, FREAK’s Connar Ridd launched himself in to the crowd, and an instant mosh pit ensued. The band smashed through the songs on their current EP, including ‘Floating High’, ‘Someone Help Me’, and the eponymously named ‘What Happened?’ – the latter being a more than suitable soundtrack to the lives of lost youths (or for wannabe lost youths, who’re in the twenties, and very hung-over the next day at their day job). Fans were also treated to new songs, including ‘I Like To Smile When I’m Sad’, and ‘No Money, No Honey’.
Comparisons to Chelmsford’s RATBOY (aka Jordan Cardy) are inevitable; they’re similar in sound and style, the same age (19), and share the same hometown – but FREAK are equally as entertaining as RATBOY (who played Bassment earlier in the year, on the eve before their sold out show at London’s HEAVEN) and it’s humbling to see local lads thriving on the local music scene together – even if NME insist on branding it ‘Chelmo-rock’.
(Support came from the very loud, very proud Horse Heads).
FREAK’s debut EP, What Happened? is available to download on iTunes now.